Wow…a lot has gone down over the last few months since my last post! My school has finished up for work, we have Allie for the summer, we travelled to western New York and Sea Isle City, New Jersey for some much needed time off… oh… and we got married and bought a house too. Where does time go?!
Since the wedding, life has been insanely fun. Our wedding day was nothing short of incredible. This is a second marriage for both of us and it was so important we do it the right way from start to finish.
Are you thinking about getting married the second time around? Until I met Aimee, I was hell bent on never getting married again. Not going through that debacle all over again. I was happy with being “Lord of the Ringless!” So I’m going to use this post to talk little about why it is so important to do a second marriage the right way. From the first date to the wedding vows…it has to be done right…for so many reasons.
Aimee and I were both previously married for over 10 years. I jokingly say between us we have 20 years of experience. It might be bad experience, but hey, it’s experience. I won’t speak for Aimee, but for me, getting married at 22 years old was not a wise choice; however, I have an incredible daughter and fully believe I was just on God’s path to enjoying life with Aimee and our children.
I remember when I told my dad I was getting married back then, he looked me straight in the eyes and said “are you sure you want to get married?” He was the kind of dad who would support me and I could tell he was implying for me to take my time. But I’m 22 and just graduated college… you can’t tell a 22 year old anything they don’t know already.
The Process – what right looks like
The circumstances when you get married at age 22 versus age 36 are drastically different. At age 22, your focus is narrow. let’s throw the party, get hitched, and drink heavily. Wedding complete.
At age 36 life is more dynamic. We have three children watching our every step. All three children have seen first hand what an unhealthy marriage looks like. They have been through and continue to go through the sadness that divorce brings.
For Aimee and I from day one, it was so important to use our relationship to show the kids what right looks like. From start to finish. Show them the process and get them involved!
Before I asked Aimee to marry me, I talked with my daughter Allie about it. I feel it was important to get her input instead of just telling her how it was going to be. Important for her to approve of Aimee and her two amazing children. I told Allie I was thinking about asking Aimee to marry me… and her face lit up! She was even more excited than I thought she would be. That was a weight lifted off my shoulders. I was pretty sure she was going to be okay with it, but there is always a… “what if she is not happy about it or gets upset?”
What an amazing and resilient little lady! Her time with me is already limited, and without hesitation after going through tough times, she is willing to share her dad with another family as we grow together as one family. It is really nothing short of remarkable.
Get the kids involved early
After I asked Allie if she was okay with me marrying Aimee, we went to look at a few rings. I wanted her to hold some, look at some, and give me her opinion. It took some time for me to find a ring, but even when she wasn’t with me at her mom’s house, I’d send her some pictures and ask “what do you think?” I wanted her involved even if she was not with me.
For Aimee’s children though, I didn’t get a chance to get them involved early prior to the engagement. I had more time with Allie and could stop by jewelry stores when we were not with Aimee. Aimee would have looked at me weird if I just took her kids away for a few hours. We were all still building our relationships. After the engagement, all three kids had input. If you can get your future spouses children involved early, then do it. Circumstances may be different for you, but the earlier the better!
Once the engagement was official all the kids were involved. They got to see the venues prior to the ceremony. They had input in what they were going to wear. Most importantly, they were right up front with us during the ceremony as we made our family one.
Keep it simple
For Aimee and I, keeping the wedding simple was a number one priority. Spoiler ALERT: our wedding day was fun, relaxing, inexpensive and completely stress free.
So how did we do it? Where was Bridezilla? Simply stated… we kept the whole day and weekend simple. We found a lovely venue at the Semper Fidelis Memorial Chapel in Quantico, Virginia. It is a small chapel that seats 120 people tucked away on the pristine grounds of the National Museum of the Marine Corps. The only thing we added to the chapel were a few rose pedals for the flower girls. It was already a beautiful venue and required no more work.
For the reception, simplicity and reconnection with family was the focus. We found a cool restaurant in Alexandria Va called “Clyde’s.” We didn’t have the traditional reception with all the bells and whistles. We had food, a toast, gluten free cupcakes, and drinks… very simple. It gave us an opportunity to just be with family.
The final key to our successful wedding day was timing. When you have a wedding ceremony and reception in two different locations, give enough time between events. Our wedding was at 2pm and reception began 6:30-7ish. We didn’t feel rushed between events and had plenty of time to change and relax for a few in between. Keep it simple and keep it slow paced.
My best advice for a second marriage
If you are getting married the second time around, or maybe even for the first time, I really have two critical pieces of advice: keep it simple and get the kids involved.
Keeping it simple will enable you to enjoy the day, connect with family, and keep the stress levels at a minimum. Bringing the kids into the decision making, planning, and execution of the engagement and wedding will be the first step in building a family together. HAVE FUN!
One final nugget for you… listen to “The Second Time Around” by Shalamar. One of my Uncle’s sent this to us, great song!